Are solar panels worth the investment?
If your thinking about installing solar panels, you’ll probably have a lot of questions about their viability. This site is dedicated to giving you the right answers, and to help you locate the right supplier for you needs. On this page you will find:
Solar panels are an amazing way for you to save money
By installing solar panels, you can save around £1,250 on your electricity over 20 years. Plus, in the same period you can earn another £6,750 in government feed-in tariffs. Once your panels are installed, the government will lock in your tariff for a full 20 years.
You will have act fast, the current feed-in is due to be reduced by 87% in Jan 2016. After which the tariff will be reduced to just to 1.4p per kwh. This change is currently being opposed by the industry and major influencers including the Mayor of London Boris Johnson. If you have been sitting on the fence about going solar, we can’t stress enough that time is of the essence now.
How much do solar panels cost?
A typical install will currently cost you around £5-8,000, down from £8-12,500 a few years back. So even with declining government feed-in rates, the actual return on investment is pretty good still due to an over supply of panels, thus reducing costs, and economies of scale for install companies. However, the FiT rate is predicted to be slashed again in 2016, so it’s wise to install as your earliest convince to get the current high rate locked in for 20 years.. You can find out more here.
|Roof space||System size||Cost range||Annual output||Co2 saved (tonnes)||First year return||Profit over 20 years|
Is it possible to finance to the cost?
Another government scheme called green deal can be used to secure loans for up to 45 different green products, including solar panels.
It can be a complicated process to apply for, but a reputable installer will be able to help you get the highest amount of finance.
Will solar be worth it after 2016?
This image shows what the saving could look like after 2016, if the feed-in tariff is reduced by 87%. If you want solar, it’s very high risk leaving it any longer.
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You can sleep easier knowing your helping the environment
Environmental change is one of the most pressing issues of our generation. Ice caps are melting, seas are warming and a great deal of this is down to burning fossil fuels. Installing solar panels on your roof is a great way to do your bit for the environment, the next generation will thank you for it.
You can beat rising fuel costs
The costs of traditional power are only going to keep rising, but by installing solar panels can insulate your self from these rising costs. How good will it feel to know that no matter how crazy oil and gas prices rise, your always going to have a clean source of electricity you can use to power your home, and an electric vehicle if necessary.
Solar panels are easy to finance and install
So you have decided solar panels maybe a good option for you? The next step is to get some quotes and find out about the requirements to fit the panels, and finance the cost of installation. You will need a qualified surveyor to visit your property to ensure your quote is accurate, but many companies we deal with provide this for free and can help you arrange finance if the install cost is out of your range.
How can solarcompared.co.uk help you?
After you submit a request for quotes here, one of our trained professionals will manually search the market to find you the top 4 suppliers based on your needs.
Every supplier in our network has been manually qualified and must meet exacting standards, so by using our service you are giving your self the best chance of finding a reputable and certified company.
The average user of solar compared saves around 47% and several hours of searching. Stop wasting time now, and fill in our RFQ here.
Do you need planning permission?
In most cases you won’t need planning permission to install solar panels on your roof. The main caveats are that as long as the building isn’t listed, or you want to install them on a block of flats then generally you’ll not require permission, however a qualified installer that visits your property will give you a final assessment.
How does the feed in tariff work?
The government backed feed in tariff scheme let’s you generate energy from installed solar panel systems, and sell any surplus you don’t use back to the energy grid. They pay you a fixed fee per KWH (kilowatts per hour), letting you earn great profits over the life of the panels. This also negates the need to store excess energy in expensive batteries. The rate you get is dependent on the date you install your panels, and is constantly being re-adjusted based on the cost of systems. As the price of panels goes down, so does the rate paid. It’s always better to get in sooner, rather than later, so don’t waste any time and compare quotes here today!
Do you need a south facing roof?
Yes and no. A south facing roof will usually give you greater returns, but a south-west or even west facing roof could still make solar panels a great investment. If you have a standard two sided roof, one side will always face one of these directions as shown in this illustration.
Your roof should be mostly free from shade during 10am – 4pm for the maximum return on investment, some light shade is usually acceptable.
Does my location effect payments and ROI?
If you live in the south then you can expect higher payments than further north. However, even with cloud cover all of the UK is capable of proving amble sunlight to give good returns, and electricity generation year round.
[Even normal two sided, East-West facing roofs can be suitable]
Do you need an energy rating certificate?
If you want to install solar panels, you will first need an energy certificate with ideally a D rating or above to qualify for the full FIT payment. You can still get around 50% of the full payment with lower than a D rating, so it may be worth trying to increase your homes efficiency before installing the panels.
A energy rating certificate runs from A though to G, with A being the most efficient. All of our trusted providers will be able to prove you with an energy rating certificate, usually included in the cost and final quote.
Having a more efficient home will greatly save on your energy bills all year round, so it’s always a great and green investment.
Will solar panels effect your buildings value?
Solar panels can increase or decrease the value of your home, and expert advise from a local estate agent is usually best. If your buyer is eco conscious clearly this will be a big draw for them, and fortunately the collective consciousness seems to be far more environmentally aware than even 5 years ago. If you looking to sell your house with in a few years, speak to an estate agent first.
How much maintenance is required?
Most solar installers will offer you 20 or 25 year guarantees and even so, most installs are very low maintenance. You will need a new inverter after about 20 years of use, a relevantly small £800 replacement cost. Apart for that, your array of panels should look after them self’s. Ensure your chosen installer offers no quibble guarantee.
Pro tip: National suppliers are less likely to go out of business, so if the worst happens and you need a panel or even system replaced, they should still be around to make good on their promise.
Pro tip 2: Pay using a credit card, all purchases over £100 are protected by law. So if the worst does happen, and your chosen supplier goes out of business then you can take the matter up with the credit card provider. They are required to offer protection in such situations, by law (section 75).
What about free solar panels?
They say there is no such thing as a free lunch, but does this apply to solar panels? While there are free options available, the company installing and paying for them will keep the feed-in tariff payments (the bulk of the benefits).
The company in return offers you some or all of the energy saving potential. Savings range from £150-£300 per year, with no investment and no cash return.
Be aware that it won’t be possible for you to buy your way out of the contract, and will transfer with the sale if you decide to sell.
How do solar panels work?
Solar photovoltaic panels (solar PV) generate energy by converting the sunlight in to electricity. They do this by letting particles of light (photons) to set electrons free from atoms, creating an electric flow in the process.
Each solar panel module is comprised of many, smaller ‘solar cells’ that make the compete panel. Each cell is made up of two semi conductors, each one creating opposing positive and negative fields. Electric charges are created when two opposing fields are separated. Much like a magnetic field.
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